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Uttarakhand HC Directs Immediate Transfer Of 23 Crores To Transport Corporation For Payment Of Employees' Salaries As CM Declines To Convene Urgent Cabinet Meeting

Nupur Thapliyal
30 Jun 2021 2:47 PM GMT
Uttarakhand HC Directs Immediate Transfer Of 23 Crores To Transport Corporation For Payment Of Employees Salaries As CM Declines To Convene Urgent Cabinet Meeting
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The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday directed that an amount of Rs. 23 Crores be immediately transferred to the State Transport Corporation for the purpose of payment of its Employees' salary for the month of February and March this year.The development came after a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma was informed by the State...

The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday directed that an amount of Rs. 23 Crores be immediately transferred to the State Transport Corporation for the purpose of payment of its Employees' salary for the month of February and March this year.

The development came after a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma was informed by the State Chief Secretary that despite a request made to the Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat for convening a Cabinet Meeting on an urgent basis, he had declined to do so.

The Court had on the previous date of hearing, requested the Chief Minister to convene an urgent meeting for ensuring that arrears of salaries are paid to the employees of State Transport Corporation which is unpaid from the last five months.

The Court directed thus:

"The Court directs that the amount of Rs. 23 crores, against "the hill loss" suffered by the Corporation, should be transferred immediately to the Corporation, so that the Corporation can pay the arrears of salary for the months of February and March, 2021 to its employees."

During the course of hearing on Tuesday, the bench was however told that while the CM denied the request of holding an urgent cabinet meeting, he had directed that the proposal for revival and resurrection of the Corporation should be placed in the next Cabinet Meeting which is likely to take place on July 16.

The State Transport Secretary had therefore submitted a proposal before the Court highlighting that a total of Rs. 124 crores will be required by the Corporation to meet out its financial liabilities towards its employees.

Pursuing the aforesaid proposal, the Court was of the view that:

"A critical analysis of the proposal placed by the Corporation clearly reveals that it is an incomplete proposal."

Furthermore, it said "the proposal does not request the Government to ensure that the said amount would be released, in future, so as to enable the Corporation to be able to pay the salaries to its employees."

Observing that there were some lacunae that existed in the proposal, the Court directed thus:

"Mr. Abhishek Rohila (Transport Secretary) is directed to submit a complete proposal to the State Government so that the said proposal can be placed before the Cabinet in its next meeting."

Furthermore, it said:

"Since there is a possibility that the Cabinet Meeting will be convened on or before 16.07.2021, this Court directs Mr. Om Prakash, the learned Chief Secretary, Mr. Amit Negi, the learned Secretary, Finance, Dr. Ranjeet Kumar Sinha, the learned Secretary, Transport, and Mr. Abhishek Rohila, the learned Managing Director of the Corporation, to be present before this Court on the next date."

The matter will now be heard on July 19.

During the previous course of hearing on Saturday, the Court had observed thus:

"Despite their tragedies and crisis, the State is merely making a mumble full of promises that "it shall look into their future difficulties and resolve them in an uncertain future date". The State cannot be permitted to function in a laid-back style. Each day, without any financial support, is an uphill task for its people to survive. It is a critical condition that requires an immediate solution for people who are penniless, and who are beginning to starve."

Observing that the State cannot turn a Nelson's eye to the plight of its employees, the Court said that during the crisis of pandemic, the employees are left "high and dry by the State" when each employee has his own familial and social obligation to fulfil on a daily basis including that their children need to be fed, elderly parents need to be taken care of and medical needs of the wife have to be fulfilled.

Title: WRIT PETITION (PIL) NO. 82 OF 2019

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